OnePlus stepped into a new market in 2020 with the debut of the Nord lineup, and in the US that includes the budget-focused OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100. As it turns out, these affordable OnePlus Nord devices are big hits at T-Mobile.
Wave7 Research reports that just a month after their release on T-Mobile and Metro (a prepaid network owned by T-Mobile), both phones have been selling big. Since their debut, the two devices have pushed OnePlus to about 15% of Metro’s sales. Apparently, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is the one selling especially well at Metro and T-Mobile, with the latter offering the device for free with a new line of service.
In a way, this is unsurprising. On paper, these cheap OnePlus Nord phones are a good value. The Nord N10 5G especially seems like a good deal with a $299 price tag, large 90Hz display, Snapdragon 690 5G, quad cameras, and a sizeable battery, too. In our brief hands-on time with the device last year, we were admittedly pretty happy with the performance and quality of the device as a whole.
What makes this situation unfortunate is that, for many, these two phones will be the first experience of Android, and it’s just not a good one. OnePlus has shameful software support for these two devices. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 both hit the market with Android 10, which was already months out of date at the time. Making matters far worse, the company only promises a single update to Android 11 and scarce security updates, too.
Historically, OnePlus has offered pretty good short-term and long-term support to its Android phones, but that’s been thrown out the window on these new Nord phones. While $180 and $299 price tags look appetizing at a glance, the software support behind those numbers means these phones will be out of date and possibly vulnerable to security issues within a year or two. Meanwhile, $349 buys a Pixel 4a, which gets software updates on a monthly basis for three years, but according to this same report, Pixel sales have been roughly flat at US carriers, with the Pixel 5 being one bright point as a quick upgrade for existing Pixel owners at Verizon.
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